Business Administration

Want to Work for PayPal? Here Are the Degrees You’ll Need.

Want to Work for PayPal? Here Are the Degrees You’ll Need.
Thanks to PayPal’s employees, the company remains leaps and bounds ahead of the digital wallet competition. Image from Unsplash
Mairead Kelly profile
Mairead Kelly March 18, 2020

Your ability to take initiative, show curiosity, and provide stellar responses to open-ended interview questions won’t hurt.

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Back in the mid-’90s, splitting a dinner tab required roughly as much legwork as actually cooking a meal. In an era synonymous with beepers and carphones, most people couldn’t imagine the possibility of sending and receiving payments online, even if financial institutions had the means of conducting them.

That changed with the introduction of PayPal in 1998. Originally called Confinity, the company was created by technology entrepreneurs Peter Thiel and Max Levchin on the premise of low-cost, effortless digital payments for consumers and businesses.

The founders’ idea was simple and efficient: convince customers to share their email, banking, and credit card information in return for secure software providing the ability to make financial transactions via personally-owned devices. Small businesses, online merchants, and consumers quickly signed on.

Within two years, the duo renamed their company PayPal after deciding to focus on payments made over the internet. In 2000, Elon Musk initiated a merger between the two parent companies of PayPal: Confinity and, his own online banking company.

The company received its initial public offering in 2002 when eBay acquired PayPal for $1.5 billion. It was monumental step that pushed PayPal’s accessibility to grow across the globe—and land at the center of the business world.

Thanks to PayPal’s employees, the company remains leaps and bounds ahead of the digital wallet competition. Their efforts are compensated in a variety of ways, including generous healthcare and wellness plans, and financial perks like retirement savings and stock awards.

In addition to its time off program, which provides full-time employees with roughly five hours of paid time off each pay period and an additional day for each year of employment, PayPal offers four weeks of paid sabbatical for every five years of service. Not too shabby, especially when considering the tech industry’s reputation for sky-high burnout.

PayPal also knows its employees are interested in continuing their education, which is why it offers tuition assistance and other educational benefits that include career and leadership development courses and training.

PayPal employees enjoy the rewards of their hard work, so much that in 2020, they helped the company come in at number 33 on Forbes’ list of America’s Best Employers for Diversity and take eighth place on The Just 100: Companies Doing Right By America.

2019 was even more monumental for corporate recognition, with accolades including spots on Forbes’ list of The World’s Best Employers, The World’s Best Regarded Companies, and America’s Best Large Employers, among other awards.

Tech talent is in high demand these days at PayPal, as is a range of jobs that support its software and engineering pros. So, how can you get a job at a company known for making financial transactions easier and more accessible for… everybody?

For starters, you’ll need to practice your responses to interview questions that start with phrases like, “Describe a time when…” and “Share an example of a situation where…”. Other qualities that will help your candidacy include taking initiative, showing curiosity, and in some cases, particular undergraduate and graduate degrees.

PayPal’s Transaction History

Under eBay, PayPal grew its reach internationally, adding ten currencies to its platform in 2006, including the Singapore dollar and the Swiss franc. By 2007, the company landed a European banking license, giving it far more access to customers in countries across the continent.

In 2008, PayPal surpassed 100 million user accounts and rolled out a mobile payment platform allowing customers to pay via PayPal through their smartphone and other devices. After a 13-year relationship with eBay, the online shopping site decided to part ways with PayPal in 2015, opting to choose the Dutch firm, Adyen, as its main payments processor.

By this point, PayPal was once again a single, publicly-traded company. The day its stock began trading, the company’s market value culminated at nearly $49 billion, creating a host of PayPal millionaires and far exceeding the market value of its former parent company.

Since then, the company has only continued to grow, with business moves including buying Swedish payments startup, iZettle for $2.2 billion in 2018. Shortly after, PayPal acquired Hyperwallet for $400 million, which would enable the company to offer payment solutions on e-commerce platforms worldwide.

Today the company employs 21,800, which includes 13,000 workers based out of its San Jose, California headquarters and other U.S. offices and operations centers.

What’s more, PayPal boasted 305 million active user accounts in 2019, alongside a record of 12.4 billion payments across 200 countries and regions and 25 currencies. According to Forbes, the company’s market value tops $125.8 billion.


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Working at PayPal

PayPal’s employees work within teams across a range of departments, including communication, corporate development and strategy, finance, risk management, and legal.

PayScale data indicates that employees at the company’s headquarters make an impressive $126,000 in average annual salary.

__Some of the highest-paid jobs at PayPal include the following, listed by average base salary:__

  • Vice President of Engineering: $330,000
  • Vice President of Global Design: $327,500
  • Senior Technology Director: $305,000
  • Corporate Counsel Director: $301,500
  • Senior Director of Business Operations: $298,000
  • Senior Director of Human Resources: $271,000
  • Director of Strategy Development: $268,000
  • Senior Director of Product Development: $255,000
  • Senior Staff Engineer: $250,500
  • Director of Product Policy: $248,000

Want to Work at PayPal? Here Are the Degrees You’ll Need.

Visit PayPal’s jobs site to find openings in areas including IT and technical operations, product management, design and user experience, and sales and business development.

IT and technical operations jobs at PayPal

As a company akin to tech powerhouses like Apple and Google, it’s no surprise that employment opportunities within PayPal’s IT and technical operations department are abundant.

Current openings in the engineering sphere include listings focused on Venmo security, Site Reliability Engineering (SRE), blockchain security, and network support and security. The department’s information security team is also filling roles in management and compliance analytics.

Education requirements within this department vary, with roughly half of the available jobs in this realm leaving them out entirely. Positions that note degree qualifications include SRE engineer, which requires candidates to have a bachelor’s in a technical field.

Candidates pursuing positions like information security manager and information security and compliance analyst will need a bachelor’s degree in information technology, information assurance, and information security.

Those looking to join PayPal as a blockchain security engineer will need a master’s in computer science, electrical engineering, or a related field.

Product management jobs at PayPal

Paypal’s product management department spans teams based in technical product management, product management, and product marketing, among specializations.

Job seekers who aspire to ascend the company’s technical product management ranks have many opportunities at hand, including openings for a technical product manager, senior product manager of international payments, and a lead product manager of loyalty and rewards.

For the most part, PayPal’s hiring managers want candidates seeking jobs within this team to have a bachelor of science (BS) or a bachelor of arts (BA) degree. The team’s product manager of loyalty and rewards listing gets more specific by requiring candidates to have a bachelor’s in engineering or business.

A bachelor’s degree is also necessary for those considering working for the company as a technical product manager. But it’s also the minimum—a master of business administration (MBA) or a relevant master’s degree is preferred.

Openings in the product management arena include listings for a UX/UI product manager, product owner, and engineering product manager. They typically require candidates to hold at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science or engineering or have equivalent professional experience in the field.

Design and user experience jobs at PayPal

Current opportunities within this department are slimmer than others and mostly focus on positions that make ample experience and leadership skills a must-have. They include openings for a senior UX designer, senior mobile UX designer, and senior product designer.

Across the board, candidates will need a bachelor’s or master’s degree in design, information architecture, or human factors.

Sales and business development jobs at PayPal

Teams within PayPal’s sales and business development space include inside sales, sales operations, and strategy development.

Inside sales offers the most employment opportunities, noting openings for inside sales and lead generation specialists, as well as a business funding expert and junior inside sales representative.

Of the jobs in this department that highlight a need for higher education, the specifications are pretty general: have a bachelor’s degree.

The company’s sales and operations team is hiring a senior deal desk manager, a senior sales effectiveness manager, and a sales analytics and insights lead. Additional opportunities within this specialization include positions in call monitoring quality analytics and sales decision sciences management.

Positions like senior deal desk manager and senior sales effectiveness manager don’t specify education requirements, while candidates pursuing PayPal’s call monitoring quality analyst role will need a bachelor’s degree in sales, marketing, or communications.

Job seekers looking to work as a sales analytics and insights lead or sales decision sciences manager face the loftiest educational qualifications of any openings within PayPal’s sales and operations team.

Both positions require at least a master’s degree in statistics, applied mathematics, computer science, operations research, engineering, or economics.

Internships at PayPal

PayPal’s internship program provides undergraduate and graduate students with the opportunity to take part in work that directly supports its business and customers.

As interns, students are encouraged to take part in a range of personal and professional development activities, including the company’s executive speaker series and intern projects showcase, which are designed to help them develop professionally.

PayPal internships also impart a wide range of networking events throughout the summer. From regional conferences and speed mentoring to philanthropic events and a noteworthy intern conference, these events act as a platform for students to share knowledge and experiences with their peers and the broader PayPal community.

There’s lots of fun to be had too. From day one, interns have a calendar of events on hand that allow them to enjoy some of the attractions and activities PayPal’s campuses have to offer, like intern nights out, hackathons, and brainstorms. Additional perks include relocation assistance, paid housing, and access to the company’s employee discount program.

Change the Financial Future With Paypal

In 2017 PayPal’s Chief Learning Officer (CLO), Derek Hann, told Business Insider that he wants candidates to know exactly how they need to answer his questions. So, he’ll prep them.

“How selfish would it be for me not to take that moment to teach them?” he said. “That just makes for an uncomfortable interview for everyone. Then the candidate stumbles around in the dark.” Instead, Hann encourages candidates to take time to consider their responses and even suggests jotting down notes according to the STAR interview response technique.

This method of answering interview questions allows candidates to prove that they possess the the experience and skills for the job at hand. STAR stands for the quintessential elements of each answer: situation, task, action, and result.

According to Hann, candidates are most likely to forget to include the most important aspect of their response, the result. He wants job candidates to explain why what they’ve done matters.

“A real response reflects not only on your past experience but how you think about those opportunities,” he said.

(Last Updated on February 26, 2024)

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About the Editor

Tom Meltzer spent over 20 years writing and teaching for The Princeton Review, where he was lead author of the company's popular guide to colleges, before joining Noodle.

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